Bishop Tartaglia speaks out on abuse crisis

Bishop Tartaglia with Pope Benedict XVI

BISHOP Philip Tartaglia of Paisley, president of the Bishop’s Conference of Scotland’s Communications Commission, has used his Holy Week and Easter homilies to openly and directly address the abuse crisis within the Church and the media coverage of it.

In his homily at the Mass of Chrism at St Mirin’s Cathedral, Paisley, he said:

“I cannot remember ever having felt so distracted and disturbed about a situation in the Church. It is hardly the atmosphere in which I had hoped to celebrate the Mass of Chrism in this Year for Priests. As priests, I know we feel let down, tainted by association and a little discouraged.”

He went on to say: “I wish to say too, in order to re-assure our people, that the Diocese of Paisley, and the Catholic Church in Scotland as a whole, has done an immense amount of work on safeguarding children and vulnerable people. Robust regulations, protocols and directives, have been put in place to safeguard children and vulnerable people, and to make sure that allegations, if there be such, against clergy and other representatives of the church, are dealt with correctly and transparently. These policies and procedures stand comparison with good practice anywhere.

“My dear brothers in the priesthood, our people think well of us. Their support presence here this evening in such huge numbers tells us that. They do not accuse us of wrongful behaviour. They trust us. Despite the news of scandalous allegations against some priests, they know that their children are safe with us and in a church environment. They know that their children love you and their young people are comfortable with you. They know you serve Christ and them in a dedicated and committed way. So do not be disheartened at this latest and very shocking crisis. Continue to be Christ’s presence in your communities. Continue to act in all your priestly service, especially in the sacred duties of word and sacrament, in the person of Christ the Good Shepherd. Continue to be a loving father in Christ to children and young people. Let nothing or no one undermine your trust in Christ and your commitment to your priestly ministry. Be consoled by Jesus’ Last Supper prayer to his heavenly Father for his apostles, his first priests: ‘Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me in the world, I have sent them into the world, and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth.'”

In his Easter homily Bishop Tartaglia added: “I accept that the media has a proper role in investigating things which the public have the right to know. It is perfectly right and proper for the media to report child abuse by priests, even if we find it difficult to read about. However, in this case, the media has evidently obscured and manipulated information relating to two cases many years ago in order to make out that Pope Benedict was guilty of an inappropriate leniency. In terms of dealing with child abuse within the Church, it is well documented that Pope Benedict has led the way in dealing with child abusers with transparency and severity. He does not deserve to be treated in the media in the way he has been in recent days.”

To read the bishop’s Easter homily in full visit


4 Responses to “Bishop Tartaglia speaks out on abuse crisis”

  1. Tweets that mention Bishop Tartaglia speaks out on abuse crisis « Cross Wires -- Says:

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  2. Sex abuse scandal means more vigorous background checks for future cardinals and pope :Streets Of Dublin Project Says:

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  3. What the papers say :Streets Of Dublin Project Says:

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  4. Bishop Tartaglia speaks out on abuse crisis — Scottish Christian News Monitor Says:

    […] • Full story at the Scottish Catholic Observer. […]

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